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    SEC Volleyball Preview: Kentucky

    Kentucky returns six players who played in 30 or more matches from a 29-win season a year ago. New faces will emerge where former players Sarah Rumely and BriAnne Sauer were mainstays in the lineup at setter and libero, respectively. Sophomore Stephanie Klefot is set to take Sauer’s slot at the libero position. Klefot appeared in all but one match a season ago and was second on the team in digs per set. Freshman Jessi Greenberg, a high-school All-America selection, is set to add to the defensive prowess of the Wildcats as a true freshman. Sophomore Christine Hartmann is slated to fill Rumely’s shoes after an impressive spring. She has enjoyed two seasons as a collegiate player after redshirting her first season in Lexington. Freshman Elizabeth Koberstein enters her collegiate career as a top-15 national talent to add to head coach Craig Skinner’s array of options.

    UK’s offense is set to continue to be a high-octane unit with a number of impressive options. Seniors Lauren Rapp and Blaire Hiler are hard-hitting attackers who both capped their junior campaigns in style with three consecutive matches of 10 or more kills. Junior middle blockers Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler have both led the team in blocks once in their careers, and also provide an offensive spark as both totaled career-bests in kills per frame a year ago. Redshirt freshmen Whitney Billings and Alexandra Morgan figure to emerge into the lineup in their second seconds in the system. Adding to the talent pool is redshirt junior Ann Armes who has eclipsed the 15-kill plateau once in her career and adds veteran leadership. Junior transfer Ashley Frazier from Alabama must sit out the 2010 season per NCAA rules, but she will add a dynamic talent with SEC experience to the practice sessions. UK’s goals remain unchanged after increasing its win total in each of Skinner’s five seasons at the helm of the program. Kentucky is set to duel for an SEC crown and make a sixth consecutive trip to the national tournament.